Death of Morecambe three-year old killed by falling fireplace ruled accidental

FIREPLACE TRAGEDY: Chanel Garner
FIREPLACE TRAGEDY: Chanel Garner

A three-year-old girl died in a tragic accident when a heavy fireplace fell on her at her home in Morecambe.

Little Chanel Garner suffered severe head injuries and later died in hospital.

The inquest at Lancaster Magistrates Court heard that police and paramedics were called to Euston Grove on August 14 following reports a three-year-old girl was injured by a fireplace.

The court heard Chanel was at home with her mum Dezarelle Kellett and her twin sisters when the tragic accident occurred just before noon.

Miss Kellett was taking the twins upstairs for an afternoon nap when she heard a loud bang downstairs.

The fireplace had fallen off and struck Chanel.

Det Insp. Jason Richardson who was at the scene said: “The fireplace was a heavy item, I believe it was a type of stone, I’m not sure if it was pretend stone, it was certainly heavy, it took three officers to move it from that address.

“Officers and myself were satisfied we weren’t dealing with a suspicious incident but a tragic accident.”

Chanel was initially taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary where she was treated by the intensive care department headed by lead consultant Dr Christopher Till.

Dr Till told the coroner he stayed with Chanel when she was transferred to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool where she died from brain injuries later that evening.

Leading the inquest Coroner Sian Jones expressed her condolences to the family and concluded Chanel’s death was accidental.

Ms Jones said: “It is always difficult when a child dies, particularly in a case such as this.

“Chanel was spending a cosy morning at home with her mum and younger twin sisters and had a particularly normal day playing.

“Mum had put the twins upstairs for an afternoon nap, hearing a bang downstairs when Chanel was hit by a fire surround and it was obvious she had suffered a significant bang to her head.

“Mum called the emergency services and it is clear from the emergency services events were an accident.

“She had suffered significant trauma which was unsurvivable and therefore treatment was ceased and Chanel died surrounded by her family.”

Verdict: accidental death.